Volleyball impressive in winning RMAC opener
The Mountain Lions volleyball team won their third straight match Friday night and did so in convincing fashion.
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs hit a robust .279 to cruise to a 3-0 (30-22, 30-19, 30-24) victory over the Western State Mountaineers at the Lions' Den in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
Jill Wrenn and Kelley Angel led the efficiency parade for UCCS (4-5) with a combined 20 kills and only three errors, giving Wrenn a .600 hitting percentage and Angel a .533 mark. For Angel, who leads Mountain Lion hitters with a .228 hitting percentage this season, it was work in the offseason that has resulted in her success so far.
"I think my vertical has a lot to do with it. It went up 5'1/2 inches over the summer," said Angel. "I did a lot of lifting and a lot of working on twitch muscles, which helps me jump."
One play in particular drew "oohsâ€ and ah's" from the 243 fans in attendance. Angel went up against a double block with her arm cocked as if she were going to drive the ball right through the Western State players. At the last moment, she tipped the ball over the blockers and onto an unguarded space on the floor.
"That's my favorite thing to do," said Angel, whose raw power must be respected by opponents. "When you're going to tip a ball, they shouldn't know you're going to tip it. I've always been the type of hitter who wants to put the ball down. You swing away and swing away, and when the least expect it, you go up like you're going to pound the ball and then just place it."
Libero Laura Meeter had 13 digs and Andrea Weedman added 11 to lead a stingy defense that held the Mountaineers (1-8) to a .118 percentage. Weedman added a team-high 11 kills.
Much of the defensive success was due to tape review and game preparation done by coaches Jessica Wood, A.J. Joseph, Stephanie Shalosky and Jeremy Sands.
"In practice the other day, A.J. (Joseph) went over pretty much what they would run, like what their hitters would run in every rotation, so we had a chance to know what they were going to hit," said Weedman. "We used that."
The defense also benefited from well positioned blockers on the front row, which helped the back row players read around the block.
"Our block did a good job," said Weedman. "They made it easy for the defense in back row."
Heather Adams led Western State with eight kills.
Game 1 was tied at 15 when Lindsey Myers put down a service ace and followed it with a kill to key an 8-3 run that gave the Mountain Lions a lead they would not relinquish.
UCCS answered a 2-0 Western State start in Game 2 by scoring 18 of the next 25 points, helped by six Mountaineer hitting errors. Western State never got closer than seven after that.
Western State went up 2-0 in Game 3 as well, and were tied at 14 before the Mountain Lions rallied for a 10-4 run that, for all intents and purposes, ended the Mountaineers' hopes.
The short winning streak will be sorely tested Saturday as UCCS plays 8-1 Mesa State at the Lions' Den at 7 p.m.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
|Additional News Stories|
|December 12, 2005||Joseph promoted to administrative assistant||The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Athletic Department announced Tuesday that A.J. Joseph has been promoted to administrative assistant to athletic director Stephen W. Kirkham.|
|November 11, 2005||UCCS eliminated from RMAC playoffs||The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball teamâ€™s season came to an end Friday as the Mountain Lions were defeated 3-0 (30-22, 20-28, 34-32) by the Metro State Roadrunners in the first round of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference playoffs in Kearney, Neb.|
|November 10, 2005||Three Mountain Lions named All-RMAC||UCCS junior middle blocker Kelley Angel was named first-team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, the RMAC announced Thursday. Teammate Andrea Weedman was named second-team All-RMAC, while Jill Wrenn was honorable mention.|
|November 4, 2005||Volleyball loses third straight match||The good news is that the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball team finished the 2005 regular season with a best-ever 12-7 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference record (16-12 overall) and will be making only its second trip to the RMAC playoffs next week.|
|November 2, 2005||Another record crowd witnesses loss||Behind 17 kills each by Samantha Connelly and Holly Swanson, the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves grabbed two points in the Steel and Silver Series with a 3-2 (24-30, 30-23, 31-29, 28-30, 15-4) victory over the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Wednesday before a UCCS-record 402 fans at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.|